Making Soap with Pure Olive Oil
100% Pure Olive Oil Soap is also known as Castille Soap, named for the Spanish town where olive oil first became known for soap making. Or so the legend goes. Castile soap has a thick, low foam so you won’t get that big lather one might want. But you’ll get a wonderfully luscious, nourishing bar of soap. If you want a little more lather, try mixing with other oils like coconut, palm, and castor. Olive oil is a ‘soft oil’ and when mixed with a hard oil, like palm, you’ll get a little more lather and you’ll reduce curing time.
Castile soap is wonderfully moisturizing and keeps hands and skin soft and supple. It’s great for working advanced soap recipes, such as swirling lots of colors together because you will have more time to work with the batter. Pure olive oil also creates a very hard bar that feels luxurious. But take note! It will take longer to cure – say five or six weeks, but the wait is worth it. For a really hard bar, some people will cure for nine or more months!
Just what is Pure Olive Oil?
Pure Olive Oil is a blend of extra virgin and refined grade “A” olive oil. The refining process takes away some of the vitamins, nutrients and flavor of the oil, but the blending provides a more stable, consistent, oil. Olive oil is one of the few oils you can use up to 100% of in your soaping recipes.
How is Pure Olive Oil different than Pomace? After the first, or virgin, press, a paste called pomace is left. The pomace contains the ground skins, pits, flesh, and a little bit of oil. Chemical extraction is used to get the last bit of oil out of the pomace. It generally has a much greener color and is not as clear as virgin olive oil. It doesn’t have the flavor that virgin olive oils have, so it is mostly (to our benefit) relegated to industrial and soap making uses.
Benefits of Olive Oil Soap
- Softens and smooths your skin
- Great for dry and sensitive skin
- Full of Anti-oxidants
- Smells terrific
For tips on how to make your own soap, check out our blog on soap making. Or you can purchase our book on soapmaking.